Malian army retakes central town of Boni from jihadist

Malian army retakes central town of Boni from jihadist

The Malian army has regained control of a central town of Boni briefly held by jihadists since Friday.

Boni is home to several thousand people and was seized by unidentified jihadists on Friday afternoon until the early hours of Saturday.

Meanwhile, the UN and Malian security sources have also confirmed that the unnamed armed group allegedly left with a local official they were keeping hostage.

The central Malian town of Boni was under jihadist control on Friday after administrative buildings were attacked and the army driven out. The militants also set fire to the mayor’s office, leading the army to recall its troops from the vicinity.

“The jihadists left Boni in the night and today around 8am the Malian army came back to take control of the town,” a Malian security source told journalists.

Ongoing international military intervention since January 2013 has driven Islamist fighters away from major urban centers which they had briefly controlled, but large tracts of Mali are still not controlled by domestic or foreign troops.

An administrative source in the town said the jihadists “kidnapped a Boni community official” accused of giving information to the security forces by phone.

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